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The Test for Profit Motive: Allowance of Deductions under IRC § 183 Test

What factors aid the Tax Court in deciding when an activity is entered into with a “profit motive” (with allowable ordinary and necessary expenses) versus a hobby (where losses may be taken only up to the amount of profit received)? Taxpayers can deduct all ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred in carrying on a trade or business,[1] for the production or collection of income,[2] or for the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held

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Grantor Trusts – Part IV of IV – Retained Powers and Non-Grantor Owners

In Part I of this series on Grantor Trusts, we look at the nature of trusts in general.  In Part II, we shift to a look at grantor trusts, and a few definitional rules.  In Part III and Part IV, we take a deep dive into the interests that a grantor may retain that will cause a trust to be treated as a grantor trust as well as instances in which a person other than

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Grantor Trusts – Part III of IV – Reversionary Interests and Powers to Control Beneficial Enjoyment

In Part I of this series on Grantor Trusts, we look at the nature of trusts in general.  In Part II, we shift to a look at grantor trusts, and a few definitional rules.  In Part III and Part IV, we take a deep dive into the interests that a grantor may retain that will cause a trust to be treated as a grantor trust as well as instances in which a person other than

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Grantor Trusts – Part II of IV – Introduction to Grantor Trusts

In Part I of this series on Grantor Trusts, we look at the nature of trusts in general.  In Part II, we shift to a look at grantor trusts, and a few definitional rules.  In Part III and Part IV, we take a deep dive into the interests that a grantor may retain that will cause a trust to be treated as a grantor trust as well as instances in which a person other than

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Grantor Trusts – Part I of IV – Introduction to Trusts and Taxes

When I told my boss that I was going to write an article on grantor trusts, he responded (without hesitation sensitivity, or thought), “You know, a lot of people have written about grantor trusts.” He’s not wrong. Not helpful—but not wrong Search Google, and you will find numerous websites with cursory discussions on grantor trusts.  Look a little deeper, and you may even find some of the very good scholarly articles that I drew from

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Tax Articles

Understanding the Doctrine of Constructive Receipt

Uncle Bill Sells the Buick Your dear Uncle Bill calls you all in a tizzy asking for some (free) legal advice from his “favorite” nephew. You want to remind him that you are (a) the only lawyer in the family, and (b) the only one of his nephews who not currently in the hoosegow, but you think better of it and indulge him. Bill and Aunt Ethel, who apparently are back together after the Thanksgiving

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Tax Articles

The Deductibility of Criminal Restitution & The Claim of Right Doctrine

You have made it a habit to screen your calls, even since your mother gave Uncle Bill your direct line at work. Sure enough, 5:59 PM rolls around, and you have one foot physically out of your office door when your phone rings. Mother of all that is good and holy… As you put your briefcase down in the doorway and slowly amble back to your desk, you are at once relieved that it is

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The Truth about Amending Tax Returns

Clients are untrustworthy.  As a tax controversy attorney, this is my experience. I have heard that other types of law deals with more honorable sorts, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  When a client comes to you and says “whoopsie, I forgot to report [insert absurdly large number

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Mathews v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-85)

On July 8, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Mathews v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-85). The primary issue presented in Mathews was whether the Tax Court had jurisdiction to hear a petitioner when the pro se petitioner filed his petition (sent a letter to

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Delgado v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-84)

On July 7, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Delgado v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-84). The primary issue presented in Delgado was whether the petitioner’s frivolous argument that he did not receive taxable income in 2017 because he was not engaged in a “trade

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Peterfreund v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-83)

On July 7, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Peterfreund v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-83). The primary issue presented in Peterfreund was whether the IRS’s Whistleblower Office (WBO) abused its discretion because it did not initiate an administrative or judicial action and it did

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Pragias v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-82)

On June 30, 2021, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Pragias v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2021-82). The primary issue presented in Pragias was whether the six-year statute of limitations under IRC § 6501(e) (substantial omission of items) applied. The Substantial Omission Extension under IRC §

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